The five daughters of Mister and Missis Bennet also provide a variety of interesting portraits of different personalities. The author makes a lot of clever observations, when speaking of their behavior. For example the following remark describing the nature of Mary Bennet: “Having, in consequence of being the only plain one in the family, she worked hard for knowledge and accomplishments and was always impatient for display”¯ (Austin, 15). The portrait of Mary Bennet is the portrait of a person, who thinks that he or she can never reach success in one field and tries to compensate this by the achievements in some other field. Basically such an intention is quite good and deserving respect ”“ for it shows that a person has enough spirit to achieve something in life against all odds. However, Mary Bennet is a slightly another case, for she does not only work hard on herself, reading books extensively and learning how to play the piano ”“ she also shows signs of hypocrisy. She constantly tries to prove to her sisters that she is cleverer than they are and, therefore, better. She also tries to persuade everybody that she sees no pleasure in balls and coquetry, even though as the author hints she would have had another opinion if she were as beautiful as her sisters. Mary’s strive to seem cleverer and more accomplished than she really is results in quite the opposite: no one wishes to take her arrogant remarks seriously. One can make the following conclusion after having got acquainted with this character: it is good to develop oneself, but when the aim of this development is to stand above others and prove to them that they are one’s inferiors, this person is not likely to get the approval of the society.
The two youngest sisters, Kitty and Lydia, are a picture of friendship between two girls in their late teens. Lydia is more decisive and self-assured and she always gets more attention than her quieter friend, Kitty. As it happens with many girls in their late teens, the minds of Lydia and Kitty are occupied with boys ”“ in their case the boys are the officers of the militia. Lydia is headstrong and often shows a lack of appropriate social behavior. She is a fanciful teenage girl, who thinks that her opinion is always right and her desires must be fulfilled. She does not care very much about the impropriety of her behavior, although her elder sisters occasionally make attempts to draw her attention to that. Her mother likes her because Lydia reminds Missis Bennet of her own youth. In fact, Lydia gets too much freedom, for her mother gratifies her whims, while her father, even though he thinks the three younger girls to be the silliest girls in England, chooses not to interfere. Lydia’s headstrong and fanciful nature and certain negligence of her parents result into a shame for all family, when she elopes with George Wickham. Of course, for the modern society, eloping with a stranger would probably not seem such a tragedy as it was in the time when the novel takes place. But the basic idea remains pretty much the same: teenage girls often do silly things, especially when it comes to love affairs, and if nobody stops them they may get themselves, as well as their family, into trouble.
The portrait of Elizabeth Bennet evokes admiration in probably every reader of the novel. This young woman’s sweet disposition and ready wit make one to feel affection towards her almost from the very beginning of the story. She shows a good example of how to deal with little troubles and disappointments which happen in everybody’s life remaining in good mood. Her ability to laugh at what her father calls “people’s follies”¯ and at herself makes this character to be a good example to follow. Besides, her manners also deserve respect and admiration. Of course her manners are to be partially attributed to the social norms which should have influenced Elizabeth’s breeding. However, not all the female characters of the novel displayed the same composure as she did, so Elizabeth’s manners may be also attributed to her personality and probably to her cleverness. Of course Elizabeth is not ideal as well, for she developed prejudice against Mister Darcy, which blinded her and led to the wrong conclusions and wrong estimations. All in all, she is a nice young lady who can make a good role model for many modern girls, when it comes to disposition, manners and attitude to life.
Mister Fitzwilliam Darcy’s nature is not easy to understand from the very beginning. Although the reader may suspect that he started to feel affection towards Elizabeth much earlier than Elizabeth herself understands it ”“ it is still hard to make any conclusions about his character. The local society thinks him to be very proud and dislikes him for that. His pride and money allow him not to care about other people’s opinion, he is perfectly conscious of that and is quite satisfied with such situation, for he thinks that those who is really close to him know his true nature and only their opinion matters to him. However he has to reconsider his views on this subject, when he finds that his pride antagonized the woman he fell in love with.